「逮捕術」 (Taiho Jutsu)
If anything these two episodes are tonally very much the same #09 is very much a day-in-the-life kind of thing, with a serious case to follow up in the second part of the episode. #10 follows this same route as well. In episode #09 the characters get to chill – or well maybe not so much as they are swamped with work. However trivial it might be, they must attend to it, because you never know when the boy who cried wolf actually comes out as a lupine. In this case, I’m referring to the boy who wanted to commit suicide, it was pretty funny Seiko had to threaten him by calling his mother, there’s a correlation to be made with UFOs somewhere in there. Kawai all but wanted to abandon him when they all thought he had called 110 (911), it was Seiko the one who got that weird feeling and decided to break into his apartment by breaking down a window, and lo and behold he actually committed the crime this time. It was quite jarring, but thankfully they arrived on the scene on time and were able to pull him down from there. It all ended in a happy ending as the hospital contacted them with the good news that he had regained consciousness.
I was finding the first half of the episode quite bothersome and slow if I’m being honest, there’s something to say here about the characters, and how we’re sort of expected to know them by heart, have fallen in love with them, and think of them as whole person’s. While I do think the writing works quite well in this show, there’s just something about the first half of the episode that found me painfully snoozing away. It was interesting to know that policemen and women practice fencing, and we did get a little bit of cultural context about samurai and how their presence is still widely accepted throughout Japanese culture. With the mention of the sasumata (刺股) aka the spear fork. I quickly pulled out my phone and started googling, otherwise, I might have forgotten that name altogether.
A long elongated spear with spikes on its side and two horns in a semi-circular pattern at its ends, a pole weapon used by samurai and their followers in feudal Japan. Now taken out of its Viking state and used in a modern setting with smooth curves and less spikey. It’s interesting to see how the design has been passed down all the way from the past to the present day. However, I will leave my research for another day. Other than that the rest of the episode was meant as a behind-the-scenes look at their training regimen. Fukushocho led the pack, meanwhile, the elderly cops who were almost out of a job and into retirement, looked for a way out of the training, the two guys who were injured were excused this time around, and everyone else quickly sweated their way into an excuse. Seiji, Seiko, Takeshi, and Kawai were called upfront to participate in a group exercise. Because of course, they were. Fun times.
I’ve been thinking about the correlation between what a UFO and the suicide case have in common. Most of the time reporting a UFO to the police equals them not taking you seriously, or reporting that a zombie outbreak has spread throughout your school and you’re in dire need of rescue. Most of these cases are taken with a grain of salt, and it’s not until the pandemic has reached a boiling point that it becomes clear the turning back moment has clearly come and gone.
Reporting a suicide, from the person that is about to commit the crime, is more or less the same, it’s investigated because paperwork has to be filled and the superiors have to report a job well done. It’s not until the third time that the police get called into this guy’s house that finally they notice something suspicious going on. All the lights have been turned off and basically, Kawai is not having it. Seiko takes the helm and they do find him – but as I said before everything ended with a happy ending because the guy woke up in the hospital.
「警察手帳」 (Keisatsu Techō)
Moving on to episode #10, things take a turn for the worst, not exactly gruesome or anything, but the scene present is disturbing, so much so, that it throws Kawai into a depression spiral, she’s unable to eat and does her job on automatic. I especially liked how her monologue portrayed her state of mind. She followed orders but as soon as she realized a baby was under that blanket, she started autopilot. Furthermore, as Seiko tries to revive it, she sees the deformed body, and it takes a toll on her mental health. The episode is called Trauma for a reason. But thankfully a fellow officer show’s up at the station and manages to put her in the right state of mind. I love how Kawai even yelled at the woman who had her son in the front seat and not in a proper child seat. They make those for a reason. Nevertheless, both episodes kinda ended with a sort of renewed hope.
I especially liked how the episode managed to change gears almost immediately, as we the viewers were presented with the gruesome scene almost at the same time Kawai and Seiko arrived on it. In a sense, we were learning about the waterfall effect the scene had caused on these people’s lives, almost the same time the characters were learning about it as well. So the tone shifted in an instant, from happy-go-lucky misadventures as Takeshi tries to find his ID, and the seriousness the accident had to be given. Seiko knew in an instant, and Kawai was quick on the uptake as well. But it’s one of those things that sometimes policemen and women have to deal with because it comes with the job.
If I’m not mistaken, crime scenes, car accidents, and the like are not to be messed with until the police arrive on the scene, then they can start moving the cars and if they’re any corpses and the like, aka proper procedures have to be followed. So that’s why the baby was lying on the floor, just in case any of you were wondering. The baby probably died moments after impact. It was heartwrenching to watch.
Episode #10 A-part was also kind of a snooze, Takeshi loses his police ID, the woman who has a crush on Seiji finds it and she’s not taken seriously because she’s known for calling the station just to get hottie Seiji at her front door. (What was up with the girl spitting? What was her problem like? Kinda rude if you ask me.) This time though she found the ID and wanted to return it in secret because she understands it’s a whole ordeal when police officers lose their ID. Thankfully Takeshi got his ID back and all ended well.
For some reason Hakozume – Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu reminds me a lot about Gintama. Where most of the scenarios for each episode are are very petty and at the end there is an important message to be had.
Totally feel the same vibe, except the comedy is just not working for me anymore. I feel like it should take itself more seriously and should have doubled down on the hard-hitting cases. But I guess we can’t have it all.
This is true, the whole experience is told through the eyes of Kawai Mai who doesn’t enjoy being a police officer or have any real respect for the profession. So Mai is kind of trapped between not wanting difficult task and not wanting lots of work work put on her plate. And I can’t help but wonder if this personality of Mai’s is what drawn her to the other three who are equally trying to skirt some of their tasks.
I understand this is supposed to be a comedy but there is absolutely nothing funny about being a cop.
All this series is missing are poop and barf references, if this silliness gets added then I would say Hakozume – Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu is indeed copying Gintama.